In a statement seen by Pindula News, Heather Kerr, Save the Children’s Country Director in Zimbabwe, said the project dubbed Our “Tomorrow is Brighter” is premised on equipping young people with life-changing skills and getting them ready to face the world with more hope and confidence.
Save the Children said over 15 000 people including hundreds of patients and staff in five major health facilities, spanning four districts, are set to benefit from the reliable, safe and clean water supply.
The organisation is also seeking to set up more young people on the path to self-reliance through vocational training, in two separate projects funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation.
The water project seeks to provide the five health facilities, which also serve as COVID-19 isolation centres, with clean and safe water for their operations, hygiene and domestic use.
Save the Children said that the installation of solar-powered piped water systems, complete with water storage tanks at two referral hospitals— Maphisa District Hospital in Matobo and Siakobvu Rural Hospital in Kariba— is already underway. Three Rural Health Centres, Msampakaruma in Kariba, Chikwarakwara in Beitbridge, and Chinego in Binga District will also receive the same support.
The five health centres serve approximately 15,000 people in their catchment areas, a clear indication of their significance and the overall impact of the project. Community members living next to the health facilities will also have access to the piped water.
As the rate of unemployment and skills mismatch remains high in Zimbabwe, about 3 800 unemployed youths, from Beitbridge and Matobo districts, will benefit from the program.
Dubbed “Tomorrow is Brighter”, the young people will be empowered, through vocational skills training such as poultry production, building, welding, goat and sheep production, Farm Feed Formulation, and marketing. Upon completion, at least 400 young people will receive starter kits to start off their income-generating projects in groups.
The project aims at diversifying income sources for rural households, creating employment, and reducing illegal and unsafe migration by youths to neighbouring countries. The majority of youths in these two districts have limited opportunities for formal employment, while those who venture into farming are threatened by the harsh climatic conditions in the two districts.
Save the Children is working with many local organisations which are providing skills training for young people.
The youth empowerment project complements another project by Save the Children in Beitbridge and Matobo districts, focusing on livestock and crop production.
The two projects are funded by The Coca Cola Foundation to the tune of US$250,000.
Heather Kerr, Save the Children’s Country Director in Zimbabwe, said:
We’re very excited to launch these two initiatives in Zimbabwe, where needs are vast and resources scarce. In view of the ongoing global pandemic, the water project will support the health staff and surrounding communities in the fight against COVID-19. But beyond COVID-19, health facilities require water for all operations especially in the delivery wards; they need water in the laundry, kitchen and for drinking by the staff, patients and the community.
Our “Tomorrow is Brighter” project will make a difference in equipping young people with life-changing skills and getting them ready to face the world with more hope and confidence.
Saadia Madsbjerg, President of The Coca-Cola Foundation said:
Our funding for these two programs in Zimbabwe is helping to strengthen the economic resilience of Zimbabwean youth while also helping to improve the overall quality of life through the provision of clean and safe water.
Madsbjerg added that the foundation was proud to support these programs because it recognizes the difference they can make in these four communities.